Sharing of Buildings
There are three ways to share the use of Methodist buildings with Christians of other traditions.
Managing trustees may, with the consent of the Superintendent, hold occasional joint services with those of another Christian communion or body (see Model Trust 14(2)).
For particular occasions and periods up to twelve months
Managing trustees may, with the consent of the Superintendent and the Methodist Council, permit the use of Methodist premises by another Christian church or congregation. It is not permitted to lease Model Trust premises to other churches or congregations for religious purposes but a licence for up to 12 months may be used. The consent is renewable and such use assumes continuing Methodist use of the premises.
Either party can terminate the licence at any time.
To obtain consent for such a licence, the managing trustees must complete Schedule 14a rather than use the property consents website. If a licence has not previously been granted to the church or congregation to use Model Trust premises, a copy of their statement of beliefs should be sent to the Connexional Ecumenical Officer. If the church or congregation is of a known denomination (eg, a member of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland) then the application should be straightforward. A conversation with the Connexional Ecumenical Officer should help and, if necessary, there will be a consultation with the Secretary of the Faith and Order Committee.
Schedule 14a (PDF download)
A licence for worship by those of non-Christian faiths is not permitted on Model Trust premises.
Further information, including a Worship Licence and Worship Booking Form are available here: Letting Property and Third Party Use (TMCP website)
The Sharing of Church Buildings Act (1969) for England and Wales and similar legislation in other jurisdictions
If managing trustees in England and Wales wish to share a Methodist building on a medium- to long-term basis, consideration should be given to entering into a Sharing Agreement under the Sharing of Church Buildings Act (1969). Similar provisions apply in the Isle of Man and in Jersey.
A summary of the provisions of the 1969 Act are available here:
Sharing of Church Buildings Act 1969 (CTBI website)
Please let your Superintendent, District Ecumenical Officer, and District Property Secretary know if you are considering this possibility of a sharing agreement on a Methodist building or on a building of another denomination and contact TMCP Legal and the Connexional Ecumenical Officer.